Anyone and everyone who has been to the Masters knows just how incredible the experience is. Early April in Augusta, Georgia, creates a buzz that only the greatest of sporting events has the ability to conjure. The freshly cut grass, cheap concessions and beautifully blooming azaleas all announce the arrival of golf’s most prestigious event at Augusta National Golf Club. However, Augusta National recently announced that the future of the 2019 Masters tournament may be in jeopardy.
Chairman Fred Ridley released a statement that, due to inclement weather that put a strain on the course maintenance staff, the Masters tournament may have to be canceled for the 2019 season. An increase in rainfall has soaked the luscious Bermuda grass into practically unplayable conditions. The rolling Georgian hills are trapping the water on fairways and pathways throughout the course.
Fans are outraged over the potential cancellation of the historic tournament. The event that has produced unforgettable moments in recent history such as Tiger Woods’ chip shot on the 16th green in 2005, or Bubba Watson’s hook through the trees on the second playoff hole in 2012, stands as arguably the most beloved event in golf and would be a huge loss if completely canceled.
Opened in 1933 by legendary golfer Bobby Jones and banker Clifford Roberts, Augusta National hosted the first Masters tournament in 1934 and has done so every year since. Fears of cancellation bring up memories of the 2017 tournament, where the Par 3 contest, traditionally played the Wednesday before the tournament begins, was suspended due to rainy weather.
If the maintenance crew is indeed able to return the grass to its glorious self in the short time left before the tournament, it looks to be a close competition. Past winners such as Woods, Jordan Spieth and reigning champion Patrick Reed will all be back in the mix, as well as others still searching for their first green jacket, like Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. If the weather is able to hold off and all turns out well, we are sure to see yet another classic Masters tournament.